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What is Hermeneutics definition/concept

The term hermeneutics must be understood within the context of philosophy, but also of theology and that knowledge needed to interpret a text. The word hermeneutics is of Greek origin and literally means to clarify and translate. When this idea is applied to a text, hermeneutics is equivalent to the process of clarifying a text and, therefore, interpreting its content.

The art of interpreting texts

When we think of certain philosophical texts from ancient times or from the sacred scriptures, a problem arises: how they should be interpreted. Briefly, there are two ways to understand hermeneutics as a discipline that interprets a text: hermeneutics

1) a literal interpretation based on the analysis of words and their meaning;

2) a doctrinal interpretation, that is, from a conception of the world, for example, in Christianity the content of a text is analyzed.

Some scholars consider that the art of interpreting must start from a prior knowledge of data (historical, geographic, linguistic data, etc.). Only by knowing the data is it possible to understand its true meaning in a given text.

A hermeneutic analysis allows an author’s work to become better known than the author himself knows about it. In this sense, this is possible because hermeneutics as a knowledge technique starts from an element that the author of a work lacks: historical awareness (there is historical awareness only if there is enough time to understand something, just as the author of a text lives immersed in its own time and lacks perspective). hermeneutics

Hermeneutics and the sciences of the spirit

The sciences can be divided into two major groups :

1) the natural sciences, such as biology and geology;

2) the sciences of spirit, such as theology, sociology and anthropology . The sciences of spirit have the particularity of being able to be interpreted, as they do not have enough data, it is necessary to interpret something else. And the method for correctly interpreting this kind of science is the hermeneutic method. hermeneutics

The hermeneutical method starts from the following premises

1) man does not objectively analyze reality , but interprets it;

2) there is no definitive truth, as truth is a changing concept and subject to historical or any other circumstances;

3) there is a permanent interaction between the particular data of a research and its totality. (Let’s think of a biblical passage, which is understood from a global Christian perspective). hermeneutics

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